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Old 10-27-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
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How to treat bogwood or driftwood

I have my prized piece of driftwood that is almost 10 years old. It was in my aquarium until last January when I had to move my tank. Over time it has decayed. I set it in the garage and it has been dry for several months. I was curious what preservative or coating I could use to preserve it. Obviously it needs to be rated for underwater use and environmental friendly. One link I'm following is http://www.aquarticles.com/articles/...i_Bogwood.html but I'm open to any and all suggestions. This piece is 5ft long and the cavity is approx 18" diameter, it's fairly rough both inside and out so it will most likely need to be dipped to insure coverage. [/img]
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:56 AM   #2
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Whoa a five foot long piece of driftwood. That must be really nice. How big was the tank you had it in?

Sorry can't really help you with how to perserve it.
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:59 AM   #3
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Tank is 72X324 (225G). Everything but the glass is home made. I'll post a pic as soon as I figure out how to attach them. I tried to attach a pic of the driftwood but it just came out as "/img".
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Old 10-27-2005, 05:46 PM   #4
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Well, If i were you, I'd wait at least a week after the varnish has dried. Varnish does have some nasty stuff in it. THEN i'd hose it down a good while, let it soak. Let what artificial chemicals that will go in your water into a bucket instead of your tank. I've done this to outdoor tables at the cottage, and a year later, you can still smell the varnish on it.

Sounds like an amazing tank, btw.
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:40 PM   #5
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I love my tank. I went to it from a 55gal. I was amazed to find that large tanks almost take care of themselves. Things change at a much slower pace due to the volume of water. The only reason I didn't go larger (besides $$$ - another 100G was almost double in price) is because of the weight. The glass alone is over 450lbs. The stand is another 300lbs. Rocks, water...oh well, you get the idea. It's heavy.

Ok, on to the subject at hand. I did not really find anything called "polyurethane varnish paint" so I took another look at the article and saw it referred to as "poly-varnish paint". That search turned up several leads but one thing to keep in mind is that a "preservative" works due to the fact that it contains toxins that kill bacteria, enzymes etc that attack the wood. What is more appropriate is a "water-repellant" or "water-proofing" material since it works by forming a bond in and around the wood. My questions are 1) will it leach underwater, 2) is the leach toxic to fish, 3) what chemicals are being leached as it "weathers"? A product may emit certain chemicals but those chemicals may not be harmful to aquaria. I don't know enough yet but I'd like to hear from anyone else looking into this subject. This link is basically where I'm at.

http://www.thomasnet.com/nsearch.htm...ch=1&regnext=1

I think reading up on the MSDS for any product would be necessary.

When I first put this large piece of wood into the tank (no fish yet), the water was tea stained almost immediately. This is after I soaked it for 3 months in the swimming pool (wife loved that). I had built an active carbon section into the wet/dry filter so after anchoring the wood down (you could have used it for a PFD), I fixed up the carbon filter. Of course, now the fresh carbon dust (black) is going all over inside the tank and I'm thinking "what the hell have I got myself into"??? You couldn't see an inch into the tank. The log was gone! However, within 48hrs the tank was crystal clear. Carbon filters work for tannin problems.
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:22 AM   #6
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Hey, what do you know. I found the gallery. 8)
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Old 10-30-2005, 04:18 PM   #7
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To post pics, hit the reply, then go to the bottom where you can attach the pics.

If you already have them on the site, you can type in the url of the picts and place the img tags around them, making sure the end tag has / in front of it.
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Old 10-31-2005, 06:20 PM   #8
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I am a bit surprised and taken back by the lack of responses or expressed interest regarding this thread. I thought a solution to the problems that exist when introducing natural wood into an aquarium would excite just about everyone here. If a coating could provide a nontoxic seal and where the sealant is bonded somewhat to the material but to the greatest extent itself, the subject piece (driftwood in this case) would be rendered airtight and waterproof. This would, in turn, render a number of related inherent problems as non-issues. There wouldn’t be any tannin discolorations or PH effects, the piece would retain its original dimensions and its longevity would be greatly extended. There are a number of beautiful woods around. Even if you’re into colored rocks and animated decorations, get yourself some purple heart or red cedar. You would not be limited to buying expensive exotic imports from some foreign country unless that's what you want. You could now look for your treasure on any area lake or field, which is exactly what I did. The only remaining problem is buoyancy and aquarists experience that problem with all but the most dense hardwoods. Periodic maintenance (removal, inspection, cleaning, recoats) is a given.

I’m off my soapbox now and was going to pass on some discourse (paraphrased) from one of the manufactures of “Poly-Varnish Paint”:

Question:
I have a piece of driftwood that will be used in an aquarium. An article... makes reference to a product called "polyurethane varnish paint". I'm not a chemist but these terms sound conflicting to me. Could you tell me about your product, whether it would hold up underwater and if it's toxic to fish…

Reply:
'Polyurethane Varnish Paint' is just a reference to the fact that varnish is manufactured in the same way as paint and our Poly varnish is made on the same solvent/resin basis as our paint. Polyurethane varnish is waterproof when dry but does have a slight yellow tinge, not a water white varnish. All Humbrol paints are made to EN 71 standards.

Question:
What about an application where it is to be used under water? Does this "paint" form a solid barrier (given adequate number of coats) so that it is watertight? Does it emit any chemicals as it "weathers"?

Reply:
When fully dry there should no problem under water and the wood will be sealed allowing the wood to be dry. When dry the varnish does not release any form of chemicals, it is also compliant to EN 71 which is the Toys Safety Regulations that state that the paints contain no toxic metals.

If anyone here can, please blow holes in this product because if I check some other reference material (ie. Safety data sheets) and it holds true, my next step would be to conduct a trial. In this trial I would probably use as large a piece I could stuff into the smallest tank I have, dump in some fairly fragile inexpensive fish and start monitoring water levels and observe the fish for signs of stress.
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Old 11-23-2009, 03:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by underwaternut View Post
Just FYI, there is a permanent link to this page that works much better for reference:

Polyurethane Coating on ThomasNet.com

I hope you've found this helpful, thank you for your time.

Regards,

ThomasNet Staff
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:37 PM   #10
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What about some type of epoxy? One that dries it won't leach into the water. I don't know if anybody has ever used the great stuff foam, but one that stuff cures I know people coat it with an epoxy to keep if from coming apart in the water. Could you do the same thing with the wood?
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